Virginia Tech expert offers tips to defend yourself against future ransomware attacks

As ransomware attacks continue to spread around the world, Virginia Tech computer science expert Gang Wang says cyberweapons remain a national concern and offers tips to prevent future attacks.

virginia tech ransomwareWang, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. His research uses focuses on security, internet measurement, and mobile networks, explains that Petya (or NotPetya) is a particular type of malware.

“The ransomware used in Petya and WannaCry share many similarities. Once it infects a computer, it will block the access and encrypt the files to demand a ransom,” says Wang, who recently co-authored a paper which revealed Android apps can conspire to mine information from smartphones. “Petya can infect machines that have downloaded patches associated with the EternalBlue vulnerability, from recently leaked NSA documents.”

“The best way to protect yourself from ransomware includes updating old operating systems to the latest versions, download patch vulnerabilities as soon as possible and most importantly backup files regularly, even if your files are encrypted, you can restore them from the backups.”

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